Gloria Johnson is fighting for her life. Make no mistake.
State Rep. Johnson won election two years ago by some 200 votes against a good candidate, Gary Loe, who was painted as GOP-lite by some party activists. That’s not the case this year, as the more conservative Eddie Smith squeaked by Jason Emert in the August Republican Primary.
It’s hard to carve two predominately Democratic districts in heavily Republican Knox County. And veteran state Rep. Joe Armstrong got first dibs on the Ds.
On Wednesday, my Army-style volunteers Carol Springer and Ruth White and I are heading to Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy, where principal Susan Espiritu and an energized staff are creating a community school.
Our newspaper club is one of 15 that meet weekly after school to engage small groups. We’ll find out today if our student journalists volunteered Army-style, too.
The candidates for the District 2 school board seat are smart, accomplished women who were probably curve-busters as students, so it was embarrassing when moderator Matt Shafer Powell asked what they thought of PECCA at last week’s League of Women Voters forum. Nobody had an answer.
To be fair, the moderator mispronounced it, but neither Charlotte Dorsey, Jamie Rowe nor Tracie Sanger knew what he was talking about.
In 2012, Mayor Tim Burchett swatted down Superintendent James McIntyre’s request for a $35 million funding increase but offered to kick in an additional $3 million per year for the following three years to be applied to an early reading initiative.
In July 2014, after two years of the early reading initiative, Knox County Schools experienced a 9.3 percent decline in third-grade reading scores (from 53.5 percent to 44.2 percent).
Ole Miss hopes to save $50,000 on Saturday. Oxford students and more mature adults promise not to storm the field if/when the Rebels defeat Tennessee. They will not tear down goal posts, drink strong drink or cause a disturbance by parading around town, making loud noises.
They will behave as if they have enjoyed previous success and now know how to handle it.
Debates will be scarce between state Rep. Gloria Johnson and her Republican challenger Eddie Smith as well as between state Senate candidates Richard Briggs (R) and Cheri Siler (D). Both Democrats want them, and both Republicans appear much less enthused about having them.
The Briggs-Siler race is not close, but the Johnson-Smith race may be close. One would think that the challenger, Smith, would be anxious to debate. Instead, it is the incumbent, Johnson, who eagerly seeks them.
A gusher of outside money – mostly from West Knox supporters of schools Superintendent James McIntyre – is pouring into the campaign of Tracie Sanger, one of three candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot for the second district school board seat. This is perfectly legal.
But a recent email sent to the membership of the West High School PTSO soliciting support and financial contributions for Sanger may have crossed the line.